Yep. I'm one of those people.
I wasn't always like this. Nope. I struggled a lot in middle school and high school. Life is hard. I often times let it get the best of me. I got depressed a lot. I wrote tons of poetry and short stories, pouring everything out on paper, and I listened to a lot of music. Specifically Duran Duran. Why them? I'm not entirely sure, but they were therapy for me. (Still are to this day.) They weren't the only band I listened to. I was an eighties child and I loved music. There was an infinite amount of it to choose from and I enjoyed it all.
I was very friendly but introverted, kind but incredibly sensitive. My mom and I got into many battles, but outside of the house, I was very quiet. There were a few people, (all girls) who really disliked me, specifically in high school because they deemed me a 'goody two shoes'. They weren't sure what to think of me, but I wasn't like them and that made them uncomfortable. I wasn't argumentative, and I wasn't interested in drinking or being loud or just participating in all the normal things high schoolers do.
Don't get me wrong ... I wasn't an outcast. I had a ton of friends. I took part in a great many things. I went to both my junior and senior proms, I had a steady boyfriend for two years and traveled to Europe with twelve other friends the summer between my sophomore and junior years. I went to football games and danced in crazy costumes, (including a huge chicken wire/decoupage cow head) for my drama/French teacher. I was in plays and was on the yearbook staff. I had a job, (I waited tables at a Mexican restaurant) and, although I didn't participate in sports through school, I was a competitive ice skater for about six years. I did 'normal' stuff, but I was quiet about it. I wasn't extraordinary. I never 'left my mark' so to speak, like other kids I graduated with. The impression I left on those I went to school with was, "she was sweet". Nothing more, nothing less. I'm okay with that. That's not a bad thing.
There was something I was really good at in high school, though. I was an excellent listener. I was affectionate, too. If someone needed a hug, they knew they could get one from me. If they needed a smile, I was good for a bunch of those, as well. I struggled. I knew what it was like. I hated to see other people struggle. If I could make someone happy, I would go out of my way to do so.
My life got a lot harder after high school. Those years between eighteen and twenty-one ... they were dark. My eyes well up when I think about what happened back then and my chest gets tight. I won't write about those years here - just know that I look back on them and shake my head, wondering how I lived through that time and walked out the other side still in one piece. I almost didn't.
I've wondered many times if this is why I'm who I am now.
Perhaps I am too optimistic. (Is that a thing? Can someone be too optimistic? Maybe I'm not entirely convinced of this.) It's the one thing people continuously mention about me. When I told my family about this blog topic and asked them each for their opinion about what I should write, they all said the exact same thing. Those around me are used to it. So much so that if I'm having a bad day, they don't know how to react. It's so out of character for me that it throws everything off balance. I've been told that I'm not allowed to be in a bad mood. I know it was said it jest - or at least mostly in jest. Truth is, when I stomp around ranting and raving, (who doesn't once in a while?) or even when I'm quiet and suffering with something on my own, it screws up the natural order of things here in my house. My family doesn't like it.
For most, my optimism is a huge draw, especially during down times when it's most needed - but I'm not for everyone, and I tend to annoy people. The constant smiles and sunshine can be too much for some. I'm not sure I know what (if anything) I can do about this. I'm not sure I want to do anything about this.
It's not humanly possible to always be happy. Like I stated above, I have my off days. Will I tell you when I'm struggling? Maybe, but it's not very likely. I have a lot of acquaintances ... maybe even a lot of friends, but those that I feel closest to, those who I feel a genuine affection for is very limited. I've been hurt so many times and I feel like I have to protect myself. My teenage years were a long, long time ago. I've grown a lot since then. Hell, I've grown even more within the last few years. I like who I am. I like who I've become. I also like to keep my circle small. I'm more secure that way.
I choose to be optimistic because that's what makes me happy. I choose to look on the bright side of things because that's what pushes me forward. I am a happy person. I am a smiley person. I am an affectionate person. And, yes, I'm a pain in the ass. I'm sorry for that ... but not that sorry. I'm optimistic and happy around everyone, but if I've ever really gotten on your nerves, it's only because I care about you so much.